PINEVILLE, La.- Union came in Tuesday night’s game unusually relaxed. This sometimes causes coaches to worry by mistaking it for a lack of focus.
Not if you are the Union County Belles.
The team ruled Tennessee with 17 hits in the 8-5 victory of the 2010 Dixie Belles World Series.
“They were surprisingly really loose before the game, and majority of hitting is about being loose,” head Coach John Vaughan said after Tuesday’s win.
Union plays tonight at 7 p.m. vs. host state Louisiana. Union defeated Louisiana 9-5 in the first game of the Series. The game’s winner will play in the championship game vs. Florida. Louisiana defeated Florida Tuesday night 6-2 forcing a draw to see who would get the bye. Florida won the draw and received a bye in tonight’s first game.
Ten different Union batters produced 17 hits to lead the way in the team’s fourth Series win.
Union was unable to score any runs in the first two innings of play. Coach Vaughan encouraged the girls not to grow impatient.
“Afteer the second inning, I just jtold them we’re getting closer and closer,” coach Vaughan said.
But starting pitcher, Tiffany Vaughan, dominated Tennessee by allowing only one hit in three innings of work on the mound, as Vaughan picked up her second win of the Series.
Union’s first two runs came on a two-out rally in the third inning. Tanijah Hunter doubled, and Andrea Eison stepped to the plate and smacked an RBI-single for the 1-0 lead. Eison stole second base on the very next pitch moving in to scoring position. Logan Wade drove the ball to the outfield fence for an RBI-double and the 2-0 lead.
The Union Belles put two more runs on the board in the top of the fourth inning, as T. Vaughan, Katie Melton and Makayla Plemmons added base hits.
In the fifth inning, Union rallied once more with two outs. Eison, who finished with three singles, started the rally with a base hit. Wade popped an RBI-triple to the fence for the 5-0 lead. Next batter, Ashley Vaughan hit a line drive up the middle to score Wade from third and to give Union the sizable 6-0 lead.
Tennessee fought back by adding two runs of their own in the fifth inning, but stranded three key base runners.
Both teams headed to the final inning knowing what had to happen for the victory and a chance to play again on Wednesday.
Union’s Hunter got her second hit of the game on a single in the seventh and final inning. Eison laid down a well-executed bunt play. Hunter scored on Eison’s bunt, and Eison came all the way around the bases to score on several Tennessee errors for the 8-2 lead.
Tennessee threatened in the final inning by loading the bases with no outs. A fielding error by Union allowd two runs to score to cut Union’s lead to four. Tennessee’s next batter hit a sacrifice grounder that brought in another run. Union fans became nervous at the sight of Tennessee’ seventh-innning rally and the 8-5 score.
Union’s determination to win the Series erased any concerns of the scare as Union’s Eison caught the ball for the final out and the 8-5 victory over Tennessee.